Late for work, I raced back toward the bedroom for one last forgotten item. And that’s when Tim stopped me, taking my shoulders and gently nudging me toward the front door.
It’ll just take a second, he said, sensing my begrudging attitude. You’ll want to see this.
Out to the porch we marched, and then to the brick walkway, where at the appropriate distance he turned my body to face the front of the house. We stood there awhile, him anxious for me to spot it, me anxious to be done with this nonsense.
Finally he said, See that? pointing to the edge of the roofline, the side closest to the driveway.
Hum, I said, hardly sharing his enthusiasm. I don’t remember much wind last night.
We stood for a moment, quiet. And then Tim said:
The eagle. It came from the eagle. He was sitting right there with it, and when Mike’s car pulled into the driveway, he took off over the lake.
Wow, I thought. Wow.
I stood and stared, thinking of the eagles, feeling the same excitement I felt the first time I saw them all those years ago.
They must be building back in the woods, I said. And Tim smiled and left me to my thoughts, knowing full well my heart was overflowing to have the evidence right there on our roof, right there in front of me.
They didn’t abandon us when their nest fell, I thought.
And they didn’t move on when the tree fell, I rejoiced.
It’s such a big branch, I considered. I wonder if he’ll come back for it.
Maybe he is around right now. Waiting.
I looked to my right, past the Cope’s pool to the woods beyond, to the tree that had been a favorite eagle perch when they lived right there on the edge of the lake, when they raised the first two babies right before our delighted eyes.
Sure enough, she* was there. I ran for my camera, then crossed our yard, and the Cope’s, for a closer look.
I swear I could feel that eagle smile as she posed for me, a familiar exchange between the two of us, an agreement we came to five years ago when we both found ourselves at home here on Bickley’s Pond. She goes about living her life—making a comfortable home, devoted to her mate, rearing needy babes who in no time at all fly away to begin their own lives—and I watch in awe, cheering her on.
As of this morning, three days later, neither of the eagles has retrieved the branch. It hangs just over corner of our house, right above the garage. I see it every time I go and come.
I have to say I like having it there.
I can’t help wondering, at least the romantic part of me, if that eagle might have placed that branch right where she intended it to be all along.